New Communities

What is 'Church Planting'

Church Planting is a broad term that refers to starting new communities of faith for the benefit of those who are not yet part of the Church. Church Plants may start in various forms, and usually have the capacity to develop into ‘mature’ expressions of ‘word, sacrament and pastoral care’ – though that might look very different then many exist in congregations or pastoral charges.

The LeaderShift Church Planting Project (formerly Embracing the Spirit BC) is part of the LeaderShift ministry, and is an initiative of Pacific Mountain Region of the United Church.  Our mandate is to empower planters to plant (or start) diverse Church Plants. We deliberately engage this metaphor of gardening and tilling as a way to express the organic and ecological nature of starting new Communities of faith.

If you are feeling the call to be a planter/starter (including assessment), are interested in learning more about any of the plants/starts above, or are planting in PM Regional Council and would like to be connected with our cohorts, please contact Rob Crosby-Shearer at 778 977 7562 or rcrosbyshearer@united-church.ca

In addition to funding plants/starts, we seek to resource United Church planters/starters and planter/starter teams with mentors, training, cohorts and other resources for their unique ministries.

New Communities where Christian faith is nourished in the PMRC

Click the new communities logos to open to their website. Note: This section is still being populated! More of our new community initiatives will be added in the coming weeks (so worry not if you don't yet see your community listed!).

The Abbey Church
Courageous Community Centre
The Centre for Uniting People
Emmaus Community
Feast & Fallow
Foxes & Fowl
Way Point Centre for Spiritual Growth
Westshore Community of Practice
Wild Church
Zimbabwe United Methodist Vancouver: https://www.umnews.org/en/news/church-helps-zimbabweans-keep-home-in-canada

O’man’s Nam’a (We Are One) is a Healing and Community Engagement Collaborative to continue and further promote, healing and relationship building between the church and First Nations individuals and communities (particularly among the Gwa’sala-Nakwaxda’xw, Quatsino, and Kwagu'ł  communities) in the Port Hardy area. O’man’s Nam’a is a profound Kwak’wala phrase which means “we are one.”  The Healing and Reconciliation Community Collaborative which would be based out of St. Columba’s United Anglican Church, and provide weekly community building events focused on reconciliation and healing which are could be held at St. Columba’s, JC Memorial Church, the Sacred Wolf Friendship Centre, in people’s homes on and off reserve. Community building events run approximately 2 hrs in length creating a space to offer an honest, open, and safe exchange of ideas, perspectives and experiences around questions of culture, faith, identity. Another major part of these events would be having the opportunity to engage experientially in various forms of prayer, meditation and ceremony. Singing together and breaking bread together would also be a part of the events.  We would also seek to create opportunities for weekly joint community improvement initiatives (i.e. graffiti removal, beach and green space clean up. In addition, we participate in regular outings to explore the beauty of surrounding nature and to appreciate the wisdom and culture of First Peoples who have been stewards of this land from time immemorial (i.e. mushroom picking, participating in ceremony together, harvesting of traditional plants and medicines, smoking salmon, and a yearly camping trip).  Finally, we seek to to offer healing and reconciliation workshops, training and events for the benefit of the whole community.  Contact Rev. Alastair Hunting at columbac@telus.net

Pemberton Church Plant.  We have approximately $300,000 set aside for a plant in the Pemberton / Whistler area; given from the closure of the United Church in Pemberton.  If potential planters are interested in planting or leading a team, be in touch with Rob Crosby-Shearer rcrosbyshearer@united-church.ca.

LeaderShift Church Planting Project

The LCPP evolved from Embracing the Spirit BC in 2019 and is the continuation of this work. The initial funds for the project came from the sale of Trinity United in Vancouver and via the brave decision of the former Vancouver-Burrard Presbytery.  Church Planting funds are disbursed through the LCPP Granting Committee. Rob Crosby-Shearer is the Regional Minister for Church Planting and facilitates the LCPP initiative and is available for conversation, consultation, speaking or preaching.

Ten Plants, and Growing

With the 10 plants we have funded, we are coming to the end of the initial batch of funds – and are looking to replenish the fund so that we can continue the work as well as to begin to tell the story of the work that the Holy Spirit has started.

In addition to the support or establishment of new plants in 2018-2018, the LCPP co-planned and participated in Resurrect 2019; an ecumenical gathering of those seeking to re-imagine Church. Resurrect 2019 gathered 100 participants in Victoria BC  - about ½ of whom were UCC – and featured talks from some of our planters including LeAnn Blackert, Ingrid Brown and Minnie Hornidge.

New Leaf

We are also working closely with the NewLeaf Church Planting Network to develop opportunities for discernment and coaching for potential planters in the UCC as well as the wider Leadershift Network and the national Embracing the Spirit / New Ministries Initiatives, who run monthly virtual cohorts for planters .

As our plants ‘take root’, expect to hear the stories of these new Communities of Faith.  In the meantime, below are some of the plants that are emerging in the Pacific Mountain Regional Council. Note: not all of these are funded through the LCPP. For more information, connect with Rob Crosby-Shearer.

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